2006 -- H 7917

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LC01634

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STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2006

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A N A C T

RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY

     

     

     Introduced By: Representative Peter T. Ginaitt

     Date Introduced: March 21, 2006

     Referred To: House Environment and Natural Resources

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

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     SECTION 1. Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "HEALTH AND SAFETY" is hereby

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amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

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     CHAPTER 13.4

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HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS -- CONTAMINATION OF BREAST MILK AND

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ENVIRONMENT

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     23-13.4-1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds and declares all of the following:

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     (a) Chemicals known as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are widely used in Rhode

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Island. To meet stringent fire standards, manufacturers add BFRs to a multitude of products,

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including plastic housing of electronics and computers, circuit boards, and the foam and textiles

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used in furniture.

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     (b) Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), which is a subcategory of BFRs, has

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increased fortyfold in human breast milk since the 1970s.

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     (c) PBDE has the potential to disrupt thyroid hormone balance and contribute to a variety

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of developmental deficits, including low intelligence and learning disabilities. PBDE may also

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have the potential to cause cancer.

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     (d) Substantial efforts to eliminate BFRs from products have been made throughout the

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world, including private and public sectors. These efforts have made available numerous

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alternatives safe to human health while meeting stringent fire standards. To meet market demand,

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it is in the interest of Rhode Island manufacturers to eliminate the use of BFRs.

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     (e) In order to protect the public health and the environment, the legislature believes it is

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necessary for the state to develop a precautionary approach regarding the production, use, storage,

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and disposal of products containing brominated fire retardants.

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     23-13.4-2. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall

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have the following meaning:

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     (a) "Congener" means a specific PBDE molecule.

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     (b) "Department" means department of health.

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     (c) "OctaBDE" means octabrominated diphenyl ether or any technical mixture in which

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octabrominated diphenyl ether is a predominate congener.

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     (d) "PBDE" means polybrominated diphenyl ether.

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     (e) "PentaBDE" means pentabrominated diphenyl ether or any technical mixture in which

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pentabrominated diphenyl ether is a predominate congener.

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     (f) "Process" does not include the processing of metallic recyclables containing PBDEs

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that is conducted in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

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     (g) "Product" means a product manufactured on or after June 1, 2006.

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     (h) "Metallic recyclable" means any large metal article or product, or any part thereof,

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including, but not limited to, metal furniture, machinery, major appliances, electronic products,

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and wood-burning stoves.

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     (i) "Recycle" or "Recycling" means the process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating,

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and reconstituting materials that would otherwise become solid waste, and returning them to the

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economic mainstream in the form of raw material for new, reused, or reconstituted products

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which meet the quality standards necessary to be used in the marketplace.

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     (j) "Technical mixture" means a PBDE mixture that is sold to a manufacturer. A technical

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mixture is named for the predominant congener in the mixture, but is not exclusively made up of

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that congener.

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     23-13.4-3. Manufacturing, processing or distribution. A person, firm, or corporation

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shall manufacture, process, or distribute in commerce a product, or a flame-retardant part of a

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product, containing more than one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of pentaBDE or octaBDE, except

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for products containing small quantities of PBDEs that are produced or used for scientific

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research on the health or environmental effects of PBDEs.

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     23-13.4-4. "Deca" mixture of polybromintaed diphenyl ethers; legislative intent. It

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is the intent of the general assembly to reduce the risk of the "deca" mixture of polybrominated

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diphenyl ethers by implementing risk management measures or by prohibiting the sale of

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products containing more than one percent (1%) of the "deca" mixture beginning January 1, 2008

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if a safer, nationally available alternative is identified. The department of environmental

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management shall submit a report annually regarding the nationwide availability of safer

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alternatives to the "deca" mixture of polybrominated diphenyl ethers to the permanent joint

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committee on healthcare oversight. If, after reviewing the recommendations of the department,

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the committee determines that a safer alternative to the "deca" mixture is nationally available, the

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committee may report out to any session of the general assembly legislation to implement risk

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management measures or to enact a prohibition on the sale and distribution of products containing

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the "deca" mixture.

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     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC01634

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EXPLANATION

BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

OF

A N A C T

RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY

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     This act would prohibit the manufacture and sale of products containing more than one-

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tenth of one percent of pentaBDE or octaBDE and more than one percent of the "deca" mixture.

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This chemical has been found to be hazardous to human breast milk and the environment.

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     This act would take effect upon passage.

     

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LC01634

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H7917